Archive for the 'daily' Category

Jun 19 2009

(belated) report from my silver soldering class

Published by under amy's head,crafty,daily,jewelry,photos

I never did follow up and post how my soldering class went. It went awesome!

Here is a photo I took with my phone halfway through the class. The bracelet is only half done, I just draped it over my wrist.

halfway soldered square link bracelet

Here are is a picture I took after I got home. I plopped everything I came home with (finished and unfinished alike) into my light box and took some shots with the Canon 30D.

products from soldering class

You can see 2 square links that have not been soldered, one that was soldered, but I didn’t need, a few little bitty clasps I made, and some balled headpins — which I strung a pretty lucite bead on to show how I plan on using them. And then of course, the bracelet I finished in class.

As you can see, when you put the torch to silver, it oxidizes the metal. The oxidation is the black and goldish colors you see in the torched pieces. In order to remove the oxidation, when you’re finished, you place it in the “pickle” a solution that removes a very fine layer of metal, including the oxidation. The finished bracelet went into the pickle at the end of class, thus it’s nice and shiny. It had not yet been tumbled, so the silver is still a kind of matte finish rather than a shiny finish. I have a tumbler at home, so I didn’t worry about tumbling it in class.

And here is my finished bracelet.

MOD sterling silver bracelet. soldered square links with chainmaille inserts

When I got home, I added (unsoldered) chainmaille pieces inside each of the square (soldered) links. I absolutely adore it – The organic asymmetrical-ness of the squares makes it looks kind of retro to me. Very mod. I am going to make another one with a little less hammering of the squares…. once I can find a square mandrel to use!! I’ve just been keeping my eyes peeled for anything but I may have to ramp up efforts, head to a hardware store and actually actively look for something.

My pyromaniac sale is over, and I sold 2 items, which in my book, is a SUCCESS! I received my torch and soldering supplies, and let me tell you – it is FUN! I’m hoping to finish some earrings this weekend to list.

Also, I may be teaching a chainmaille class August 1st! I am kind of excited! If you are in the northern VA area and are interested, let me know and I’ll keep you up to date! It will be a byzantine class, and participants will be able to finish this bracelet in class:

sterling silver byzantine chain maille bracelet

-amy

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Jun 01 2009

Project Skinny Week 1 + HumDrum Life Update(s), NOW WITH CHILDREN!

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids

What? what’s that? You want to know how Week 1 of Project Skinny went?

You mean… you aren’t on Twitter? Because I told the twitterazzi already, and .. oh fine, I’ll BLAAAAWWWWG ABOUT IT TOO.

I am down 3 lbs. It was actually 3.something but I forgot the Important Weight Watchers book that they put your official sticker in with weight + loss and as a result, I just remmeber the important “3” part of the 3.something.

I’m pretty happy! I was hoping for like, you know, to be ultra skinny after only 1 week, but you know, it works. OK, not really, but I was thinking I could do 5 lbs easy, so there was a teeny tinge of disappointment until I mentally smacked myself and said, “HELLO, THREE POUNDS IS AWESOME” and then was happy.

So yeah, there you go. and now, at home, I’m out of vodka, so that can only be good for the whole week progression.

In other news, things are just going swimmingly. I haven’t updated about Ethan in a long time, and trust me, that’s a good thing. The reason this blog has seen all this ethan action and no Jocelyn action is because I write when things are PLAGUEING MY BRAIN and so blog-silence usually means EVERYTHING IS JUST SWIMMINGLY LOVELY!

I neglected to update on this when it happened, but Ethan is now on ADHD medication. And I could kick myself for waiting as long as we did. James was ready probably a long time ago, but was OK with the waiting. It’s like we have our awesome kid back again. And in the evening, when it wears off, we still have our awesome kid, he’s just tied himself up in a pretzel on the floor, is all.

Honestly, I think the meds have helped a lot, but I also think that he has matured a lot too. When we go outside and he’s running around with kids, I think now he’s just more clued in to himself and when he is reaching his breaking point — now, he will will come inside and say, “I’m done playing outside.” Whereas before, he would stay outside and possibly get overworked up about something until it has escalated past the point of no return. Now, he can remove himself before it gets to that point. It also helps that we’re pretty much always out there to monitor. And I do want to give credit to the medication as well, I think it has helped him to be less scattered and just, ALL OVER THE PLACE to make these realizations about himself.

Jocelyn is doing great too. If I had to complain about Jocelyn, it’s that 1) SHE TAKES FOREVER TO DO ANYTHING, 2) She is ALWAYS hurting herself, and 3) she will get PISSED at you if you don’t give her her own way (but not always.) And to all of the above I have to remind myself… SHE IS REALLY, PRETTY DAMN YOUNG. It is hard to remember that, even though she’s my own kid. Is it just the fact that she’s a second child maybe? I have to remember what Ethan was like before he was even in kindergarten and in my mind, he seemed back then a LOT younger than she does now.. Do we expect more from her? I’m not sure, maybe. If she would just hurry up and buckle up in the car now and then, our lives would be a whole lot easier, is all I’m saying :) But really, she is a joy and is doing the cutest damn stuff all the time.

This past weekend, we decided to take the kids to see Up! Jocelyn said, “What’s “up?”” and I said, “you know, the movie with the house that goes up with all the balloons?” And she got this look of recognition in her eyes, and she says, “Ohhhhhhh, you mean, ‘PIXAR’S Up,’ Mommy.”

And then she corrected herself, “I mean, not Pixar’s Up, it’s ACTUALLY DISNEY Pixar’s UP.”

Indeed.

Partway into the movie, there’s a part where they come down out of the clouds and try to figure out where they are. the little girl next to Jocelyn said, “What IS THIS??” in a kind of way that really meant, “where are they?”

But Jocelyn quietly whispered to her, “It’s Disney Pixar’s Up.” I had to smother my chuckling.

Anyway, so things are going well. There’s 2? 3? weeks left to school. Then Ethan will go to Taekwondo summer camp, and Jocelyn will pretty much carry on at her daycare as she already is except probably with more water and sunscreen involved.

We are making plans to go to Oregon in July for my brother’s wedding.

We are also making plans to do various painting and carpet replacement in the house over the summer.

So. Yeah. fun stuff!

2 other things:
My toe is still dislocated, and now? NOW?? My other foot is kind of irritating me too.
In my last storytime post, I remember I had another childhood memory that I was going to post and I remember it was a DOOZY.. and now I can’t remember what it was about. Doh.
And last, the keyboard on this laptop is starting to get screwy. Well, sticky, to be exact. I’ve tried to clean the keyboard once or twice with disastrous results (let’s just say cleaning laptop keyboard VERY DIFFERENT from normal keyboard cleaning).

You don’t want to bring any vodka over, do you?

-amy

One response so far

May 29 2009

Toe + Project Skinny + Metal + Celebration

Published by under amy's head,daily,goals

I have like, 3-4 big blog posts boiling around in my head, but some are interlinked, and some are not and I’ve been putting them off all week so rather than continue to put them off because they seem “too big” to tackle, I’m just going to do them all super quick and get them out there.

1. James and I have been married for 10 years TODAY. We went to lunch, since we suck and have no sitter for tonight or this weekend. We came to the agreement that we will go for another 10 years. I tried to change the terms of our marriage (I want him to “obey” but he wasn’t going for it) but in the end, we figured we can give it another 10 years.

2. The above conversation was actually like 30 seconds. Just so you know. We’re not actually that callous. We’re just very amusing to ourselves. The rest of lunch, we talked about house remodeling. Because we’re just that romantic and dreamy!

3. I have dislocated my toe. “How!?” you cry! Well, it was nothing dramatic. I wore heels for several days in a row a few weeks ago, and did more than moderate walking around errand running on the last day and my feet hurt. Really bad. Usually I wear heels, my feet hurt, and in a day or so, they’re fine again.

Well, they weren’t fine, and when I hit the 2 weeks with my right foot really kind of killing me, I decided to go see a podiatrist. He suspected a fracture, x-ray-ed, and lucky me, no fracture —- my 2nd toe is just DISLOCATED. He prescribed me a anti-inflammatory cream to use 2x a day, a pad to stick on the ball of my foot to take the pressure off the joints, light wrapping to compress the area and anti-inflammatory pills to take orally. I go back next week. The toe should want to move back into place when the swelling goes down, if not, I may need physical therapy.

So, in a word, my foot hurts, and when it gets later in the day, I start to hobble rather than walk. Don’t worry, I make sure to give James frequent updates on the status of the foot pain. “it HURTS OH GOD IT REALLY HURTS!” Definitely every hour. Usually every 15 minutes. He shows his appreciation of my helpfulness by attempting to smother me with a pillow. Because of the love.

4. I am re-starting up Project Skinny. I actually started it up officially on SUNDAY! I went to a Weight Watcher’s meeting and let me tell you, that starting weight is a little scary. I knew my weight was creeping up this year, but I wanted fries from 5 Guys more than I wanted a skinny ass, so it was easy to stick my head in the sand and ignore the obvious. I don’t want to make excuses, but the stress with the stuff going on with Ethan definitely was a factor. The last straw though, honestly, was the foot/toe thing that really did it.

After my foot was STILL hurting me (this was before I got myself to a doctor) after over a week, it dawned on me that perhaps my foot has suffered a more serious injury FROM WEARING HEELS… that PERHAPS… MAYBE JUST PERHAPS… I WAS TOO GODDAMN FAT. A person should be able to walk around Target and Petsmart and do errands in heels WITHOUT DOING SERIOUS INJURY TO HER FEET. Obviously, the feet aren’t meant to carry around the amount of weight mine have been carrying around! That was it. It was the last straw, and it was time to do something about it. (Please someone bottle this feeling for the future.)

So I really got my resolve together Saturday. I was going to go back to Weight Watcher’s, and I was going to start Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I’ve heard about it on Twitter and a few friends have commented on it and it looked good to me (helloooo! only 20 minutes!) so I had bought it. Well, now was the time, baby! I didn’t start it Saturday as I had intended, but I did Sunday and I was doing pretty well on it until I think I aggravated my toe a bit more — Day 4 I pushed myself pretty hard, and it is also the day my foot was killing me and I called the doctor! And now I am putting the Shred on hold.

It kind of sucks because the motivation for me to GET UP EARLY (ie: move heaven and earth) and DO AN EXERCISE VIDEO (ie: shoot myself in the foot) is… well…. DIFFICULT. But I had it! I had the motivation! I did FOUR WHOLE DAYS, PEOPLE! That is huge. And now I have to put it on hold until my foot is better. I can only hope I can muster the motivation back up when that day comes. Sigh.

And I was really actually enjoying tolerating liking how i felt afterwards. I was sore, but a good sore. I was tired, but also more energetic. And with each day I was a bit less sore than the one before and I could push myself a bit more than before.

So anyway, yeah. I am trying not to look at a big goal right now, but am focusing on the wedding we are going to in mid July. It would be nice to get a good solid loss in before then, and I have enough time to do it. I’ll be tracking my progress here.

5. FIRE! Soon, I am going to PLAY WITH FIRE. I have been wanting to take a metal smithing class since the beginning of the year but have purposefully put it off. But now the time is almost upon me. I am taking a beginning soldering class next Sunday, ALL DAY, AND I CAN’T WAIT!

Me. Melting metal. Maximum Awesome.

That is all!

For NOW. CARRY ON!

-amy, who’s foot hurts. Really bad. I’ll call you in 15 minutes with another update.

2 responses so far

May 09 2009

The precocious 7 year old, Mother’s Day, and a Work-In-Progress

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,photos

Me: Can i see your new birthday spy tool?
Ethan: Sure.
Me: Oh cool, a compass.
Ethan: I know.
Me: Whats this? Oh, a whistle!
Ethan: Yeah i know.
Me: and tweezers.
Ethan: yeah.
Me: …that come off!
Ethan: I have ALREADY established that.

Let me just repeat that last one.

“Already established that.”

!!!

James and I just looked at each other and repeated it about a zillion times the rest of the day.

Seven going on thirteen!

(Here is the afore-mentioned spy tool:)

So birthday-ness was celebrated. This year we did not do any fancy parties. I took cupcakes in to Ethan’s class at school, and he got to choose where to go out to dinner. He choose Chuck E. Cheese, where as soon as he found a fake ID machine, all tokens were unceremoniously fed into said machine. And then, he got Jocelyn and she did the same thing.

Basically, child poses in front of camera, machine takes child’s picture, machine prints picture on 1 of 4 different ID badges. Boy badges were skateboarder, firefighter, policeman, and some other one. Girl badges were rockstar diva, princess, and 2 other ones. (Oh boy what a good memory Mommy has!)

I am not kidding — Ethan posed for about 20 cards. And every single picture of him on the cards is almost the same, except perhaps that he tried his darnedest to look MORE and MORE menacing in each one.

Jocelyn, on the other hand, tried to look more and more cute and adorable in every shot:

Um, yeah, LET’S LOOK AT THAT ONE AGAIN:

I fear the teenage years ahead of us.

Along with the spy multitool, he also received a spy safe (complete with access code and voice saying “ACCESS DENIED” if you get it wrong), a spy scope (can look around corners), a skateboard, legos, and SPORE for the DS. Can you tell that we have a little secret agent spy man on our hands? In his free time? He likes to construct… not a FORT, like we did in MY DAY.. but a secret hideout.

It was a nice birthday.

Mother’s day was very nice too! Jocelyn brought me the toast that Daddy made. Ethan poured the OJ and brought it up himself, and then cleaned my room and made his bed. Ethan’s card had handmade paper flowers, and after seeing them, Jocelyn promptly went and made some of her own. Too sweet! I took Jocelyn to her ballet class, and then we went to Sweetwater Tavern for a Mother’s Day lunch. Very nice. I told James to please, PLEASE not buy me anything, because I have ordered enough in the sterling silver wire and lucite bead department to last several Mother’s days! I got my lucite beads in time for Mother’s Day, and so worked up a few pairs of earrings.

Here’s one pair:

Crimson in Loops. Earrings.

I looooove them — but I’ve actually had a second vision and will be making some adjustments… will work on them this week!

-amy twiddles her fingers waiting for the sterling silver WIRE to arrive!

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May 05 2009

where did the posies (poppies) go?

Published by under amy's head,daily,gardening

Every year I am spectacularly surprised and elated at the arrival of these lovely poppies that spring up on the nutley exit from I-66 east. Every year I am NEVER expecting them until suddenly, there they are, a whole SLEW of gorgeous gently nodding posies. I think they have replaced irises and lilies as my favorite flower ever.

You may have seen them too, because EVERY may, I put them in my banner!

img_0890

img_0885

img_0891

Until this year – I keep looking for them. They should be here. It IS May, RIGHT? I’m not dramatically getting my months mixed up? Ethan’s birthday is this Saturday, and Mother’s day is next, so no, I’m not totally screwy in the head!

Where are my posies?

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Apr 04 2009

Scenes From Our Trip

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,overheard,random

NOT THAT FAR FROM HOME

Yesterday, I enthusiastically hollered when we crossed the (first) state border, “we’re in WEST VIRGINIA!” and the kids and I hooted at holered and wheeeee-ed. About an hour later, we pulled over at a rest area for a pee pee stop, and there was a pay phone right in front of our car. Ethan immediately was drawn to it.

“MOM! Can I call Daddy?”
“No,” I said,
“Please? I just want to tell hin we’re in North America!”

Then 15 minutes later when we stopped at a fast food place, as we were climbing ou Jocelyn asked, “Do they speak english here?”

THIS IS WHY WE CAME

Here’s my Dad, reading bedtime stories to 3 kids who then wouldn’t SLEEP for another hour or so:

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Apr 03 2009

Conversation I just had with Ethan

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids

Me: Ethan?
Ethan: Yes?
Me: Do you want to not be able to play with guns the rest of the day?
Ethan: ano.
Me: Then don’t shoot grandpa. He’s sleeping.
Ethan: OK.

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Mar 31 2009

ROADTRIP!

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids

I am packing up the truck, taking the kids and driving to Indiana.

“Good God, WHY?!” you ask?

My brother and his family is in Indianapolis, and he is getting a promotion. He is in the army, and he’s taking over the command of a brigade. I have no idea what that means, but I am suitably impressed! Anyway, my folks are flying in for it, and really, considering the fact that 90% of my family is really REALLY far away, a 10-12 hour drive like this seems like a bargain. Usually to see my side of the family, we have to spend either thousands of dollars in plane tickets/hotel/rental cars or drive for 2 days (and that’s LONG days – if we take our time it’s like 3-4 days!).

So.. yeah, We’re going to Indianapolis! I thought about going alone, but a chance for the kids to see cousins AND grandparents.. the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. Plus, it’s cheaper to drive, so done! James can’t come because he has a project due for school Sunday.

We are going to leave Thursday right after school, which means there is precious little time to do all the things that need doing. Today I got new tires, because my old ones were nearly bald. I got Ethan new dress clothes over the weekend (including shoes) and took him to get his hair cut. I am getting my hair done tomorrow (hello 1 inch roots!) I need to find my video ipod and load it up with movies – i just use it to plug into the car dvd player. Easier than actually taking DVDS.

Tomorrow is going to be crazy. We have a meeting at Ethan’s school, an appointment for Ethan at the shrink, kindergarten registration for Jocelyn, I’m getting my hair done, Jocelyn’s first soccer practice of the year (oh, and I’m the team manager again!) and Ethan’s first t-ball practice of the year — oh, and I’m going to still try to get a full 8 hours of work in because I don’t want to have to take too much time off. I will likely be working late tonight though to make up for some of it.

And I have to pack to leave the next day.

ROADTRIIIIIIIP!

-amy

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Mar 18 2009

Ethan In Flight

Published by under daily,kids,photos

Ethan In Flight

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Feb 03 2009

More Ethan!

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids

Yesterday I hightailed it in to work early because Ethan’s school had a half day. I picked him up at 12:15 and then went home. I wasn’t planning on finishing up my work day until evening, after the kids are in bed, because often it’s too distracting to try to work with them around. I emptied the dishwasher while shouts of running and playing eminated from outside, but they had faded away by the time I was done. I had asked Ethan to stay in our courtyard, but he had wandered off, so after I got the dishwasher started, I put on my coat to check.

He was in the courtyard right behind ours doing just fine. In fact, he’s been doing just fine for a while now. Before christmas, I would definitely have been outside “hovering” just to make sure everything was going OK, to be present in case anything needed moderating. When friends are over at our house playing, I used to hover, for the same reasons. But it seems more and more that there is less and less of a need to “hover”.

If you’ve read any of the Ilg and Ames books on child development (I recommend them ALL, they are AWESOME), you know that they talk about the cyclical nature of developmental milestones, and how a child will go through cycles of equilibrium, and unequilibrium. The unequilibrium can be anything from your dextrous kid suddenly being a butterfingers or clumsy, which may happen before a new developmental milestone is achieved. It can be social as well. At the beginning of the year when we started having all these issues with Ethan I rushed out and bought the 6-year-old book, which helped me realize that 6 can be a tricky year, even if your kid is NOT having issues. The actual title of the book: “Your 6-year-old, Loving and Defiant.” Ha. Loving AND DEFIANT. It’s not just my kid! It can be a year where they test their boundaries and see what they can really get away with. It is a year where they really start to see themselves as separate from Mom and Dad, and the need to please Mom and Dad is nowhere near as strong as it was at Five.

When we met with the psychologist who gaves us the dreaded ADHD diagnosis, I couldn’t help thinking that even though we got the results of the test in early January, the test itself was administered in the THICK of the problems we were having, all the way back in early November. Thoughts I thunk and expressed at that meeting, “But he’s doing so much better now. Could he have just been having a bad day? Or a bad month?”

I think that it was naive of me to think of it as a bad day – we KNOW it wasn’t just a bad day, it was a bad 6 months! But now, we’re heading in to February and looking back at January, he really has made a marked improvement. He seems to have gained the ability to listen and change his attitude when asked (OK, when threatened! usually with loss of allowance!) We have had one bad incident where he would not listen and had to be put in his room, where he threw things, so I don’t want to discount that ugliness, but more and more, and especially after yesterday when he played with neighbor kids so well, I have to wonder, Was he just having a bad six months? A REALLY bad six months? Could we be reaching the end of the unequilibrium and heading into equilibrium? I also don’t want to discount the help that his Social Achiever’s class have given him. I have no idea if it’s helped, but hopefully it has.

I’m not saying that I’m just tossing the ADHD diagnosis out. But I do think the test itself is very subjective, and as things stand now, I am definitely in the “let’s wait and see” camp.

I must say it’s a pleasant place to be. Tomorrow we meet with the new psychiatrist, and I’ll be happy to tell her we’ve really been doing pretty well lately. And that hopefully we won’t need to see her much :)

-amy

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